Govindan Lakshmanan clocked his personal best but it was not enough for the Indian to qualify for the men’s 5000m final at the World Athletics Championships in London.
The 27-year-old finished with a time of 13 minute 35.69 second, nearly one second better than his earlier personal best of 13:36.62, in the first round heat number one. However, in a top class field which included defending champion Mo Farah, he came 15th. Overall, Lakshmanan finished 31st as the top five from each of the two heats and the next fastest five from among the remaining runners qualify for the final round.
Lakshmanan was the only Indian athlete so far to have performed better than his personal best and his effort was all the more impressive as the race was run under incessant rain which lashed the Olympic Stadium throughout the day and the temperature had dropped below 15 degrees Celsius.
“This is my first World Championships and I have come into the race thinking to break the national record. I could not do that because it was a bit tight at the home stretch. But at least I could run better than my personal best. I could not qualify for the final round but I am not disappointed because I have done my best. I will train hard and I will break the national record,” Lakshmanan was quoted as saying by PTI.
The current national record is what Bahadur Prasad’s 13:29.70 which has been unbroken since 1992.
“I feel happy that I ran with Mo Farah. To run along with him is one of my dreams and I did that today. I think I have gained a lot of experience after this race,” he added.